State Watch

Bill barring transgender athletes from women’s sports heads to South Dakota governor’s desk

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A bill requiring athletes in South Dakota state schools to provide information regarding their biological sex as well as their age and whether they are taking steroids is headed to the governor’s desk.

The Argus Leader reported that the bill passed the state senate on Monday, on International Women’s Day, by a vote of 20-15. Gov. Kristi Noem (R) indicated her intention to sign the bill Monday in a tweet.

“In South Dakota, we’re celebrating #InternationalWomensDay by defending women’s sports!” Noem tweeted.

The bill, if signed into law, would legally prevent any student at a state institution from joining a sports team that does not match their at-birth biological identity. Critics of the bill, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have called it a blatant effort to marginalize transgender high schoolers.

“House Bill 1217 is an attack on transgender women and girls that will cause them serious emotional and physical harm,” the ACLU of South Dakota said Sunday.

“It prevents transgender women and girls from having the opportunity to play sports and have their personal dignity respected,” the organization continued.

Democrats in the state opposed the bill unsuccessfully in both houses of the legislature.

“We’re not providing the supporting and accepting environment that trans people need in the state of South Dakota,” said state Sen. Reynold Nesiba (D), according to the Argus Leader.

Republicans are advancing similar bills in multiple states.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has said he will sign legislation that would ban transgender Mississippi residents from participating in girls’ or women’s sports at state middle schools, high schools and universities.

Tags Kristi Noem LGBTQ LGBTQ civil rights Tate Reeves transgender rights
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